Arts and Entertainment

Viennese noir... with red tinges

The Secret History Of: Cafe Daum coat stand

If you can tell a design classic by how often it is copied, then the Cafe Daum coat stand surely has the credentials. From its illustrious beginnings in 19th-century Viennese café society, versions of it can now be found on Amazon for about 20 quid. And for £50 they'll throw in another, and a shoe rack too. The real thing will cost you nearer £200.

Belly-dancer of the ball: Ruby dazzles Vienna

The television cameras were told to ignore her, and Austria's rich and powerful sought to avoid her. But amid all the bling on display at the Vienna Opera Ball, most eyes were still on one particular jewel – Ruby.

Berlusconi's femme fatale shocks Vienna

Not content with starring in a sex and corruption scandal that threatens to sink Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, teenage belly dancer Karima "Ruby" El Mahroug, is now raising eyebrows the other side of the Alps by accepting €40,000 (£34,000) to keep another septuagenarian magnate company – this time at Vienna's illustrious debutant Opera Ball.

The Week in Radio: A double dose of daft death and stylish murder

You could never accuse Classic FM of being po-faced, but you'd go far to find a more irreverent approach than in this week's Saturday Concert, "Sticky Endings", which explored the many hilarious and undignified ways that great composers have died. In a show which must have been great fun to research, Howard Goodall, Classic FM's composer-in-residence, ran through Jean-Baptiste Lully, who died of blood poisoning and gangrene after accidentally stabbing himself in the foot with the conductor's baton; Alkan, who was crushed to death by a bookcase; and Borodin, who collapsed in full national dress on the dance floor. The atonalist members of the second Viennese school had appropriately ludicrous deaths: Arnold Schoenberg, who suffered from a morbid fear of the number 13, died on 13 July 1951; and Anton Webern was accidentally shot in post-war Austria, when GIs arriving to arrest his son-in-law saw him light a cigar and assumed it was a weapon. "Yet another smoking-related death!" quipped Goodall, irrepressibly.

No end to the affair: The torrid liaison between Graham Greene's fiction and the cinema

A new film of Brighton Rock brings the great British novelist back to the movies. Boyd Tonkin reports on the latest chapter

Death and the Maiden, By Frank Tallis

This sixth Viennese mystery to feature the sleuthing double-act of detective Oskar Rheinhardt and psychoanalyst Max Liebermann should satisfy Frank Tallis's old admirers and seduce new ones.

Lofthouse's funeral is a sad moment for all of England, says Coyle

Bolton manager Owen Coyle said yesterday that he expects football supporters throughout England to feel a sense of sadness when Nat Lofthouse is laid to rest today.

Charlton leads tributes to Lofthouse, the brave 'Lion of Vienna'

Sir Bobby Charlton led the tributes to Nat Lofthouse, who died on Saturday. The former Bolton Wanderers centre-forward, who scored 30 goals in 33 England games, was described by Charlton as "a great player, without any question".

Rangers old boy Prso tips Jelavic for Ibrox success

The former Rangers favourite Dado Prso has backed his fellow Croatian Nikica Jelavic to hit the ground running following the false start to his Ibrox career. Jelavic is pushing for a return to first-team action after recovering from surgery to the ankle he damaged during a match against Heart of Midlothian on 2 October, his sixth game for the club.

Album: Caldara in Vienna, Philippe Jaroussky (Virgin Classics)

Echoes of Venice are few in Jaroussky's recital of Antonio Caldara's castrato arias, though "Se un Core Annodi", from Achille in Sciro, has a welcome hint of carnival sass.

Christmas markets: Let there be festive lights

Gingerbread, mulled wine, baubles galore – Christmas markets are a chance to get into the spirit of things. Rhiannon Batten wraps it all up

Album: Metropole Orkest / Vince Mendoza, Fast City (BHM)

This tribute to the late composer Joe Zawinul by Holland's fabulous 48-piece Metropole Orchestra is something of a missed opportunity.

The Merry Widow, Lowry, Salford

By the end of Opera North's new production of Franz Lehár's operetta The Merry Widow not only has the future of the fragile Pontevedrian economy been assured but the show has finally ignited after a cool start.

The Piano Teacher, By Elfriede Jelinek

When this startling novel about sado-masochism, morbid voyeurism, self-harm and stifling maternal love was published in German in 1983, it divided responses, as so many of Jelinek's writings have done.

The Third Man - behind the scenes commentary

Oscar wining film The Third Man (1949) has been re-released on blu ray with commentary from assistant director Guy Hamilton, actor Simon Callow and other members of the production team.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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